Presidents of Malta and Cyprus hold talks
by Maria Koniotou
Valletta, Feb 17 (CNA) –Maltese President Edward Fenech Adami expressed the hope that a solution to the Cyprus problem will be found soon.
He was speaking after talks with Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, who arrived in Malta earlier today for a three-day state visit.
Adami expressed the view that Cyprus’ accession to the European Union will act as a catalyst towards a political settlement.
President Papadopoulos stressed the wiliness of the Greek Cypriot side to reunite the island, pointing out that a UN-proposed solution plan (the Annan Plan) was rejected because it would have not achieved this goal.
The two Presidents referred to the long-standing relations between the two countries, their simultaneous accession to the EU and common issues and problems they face.
Papadopoulos signed the book of visitors at San Anton Palace, where the talks took place.
Upon his arrival, President Papadopoulos laid a wreath at the War Memorial. Before his talks with Adami the two presidents exchanged gifts and decorations.
Papadopoulos decorated Adami with the Insignia of the Grand Collar of the Order of Makarios III and Adami decorated Papadopoulos with the Insignia of Honourary Companion of Honor with Collar of the National Order of Merit.
The President will also meet Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and opposition leader Alfred Sant as well as Maltese businesspeople.
Papadopoulos is accompanied by Foreign Minister George Iacovou, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister George Lillikas, Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides, Director of his Diplomatic Office Tasos Tzionis, Cyprus' Ambassador to Italy also accredited to Malta Alexandros Zenon, Foreign Ministry officials and Cypriot businesspeople.